The key to a successful wedding is in the planning detail. Settling on a guest list,
venue and styling are all intertwined and should be balanced with budget and the date of choice. Here’s how to get started, writes Meagan Rooth

Photography: iStock

Prior to your engagement, your biggest organisational feat might have been hosting a dinner party.
But come your wedding day, you are going to feel like a master of event management.
Sarah Ottens, of Pepper Sprout Hire Co, suggests approaching the occasion in segments to simplify the task.

Grab a binder, make a checklist or use a planner. But Sarah reminds couples to enjoy being engaged, too.
“It’s great to start early but starting too soon can also be overwhelming and stressful,” she says.

Be realistic about what you can afford.
Prioritise three components of your wedding, for example food, your favourite band and props, and allocate a higher percentage to those. DIY can be a moneysaver, but factor in the cost and time of creating and arranging decorations.

Sit down with your partner and make tiers of guest lists, starting with who you would invite to an intimate affair. And remember to be flexible as RSVPs roll in.
“The number of your guests may affect the budget for special touches,” Sarah says.

Photography: kikki.K

Set the tone of the occasion, whether it be traditional, casual or something in between.
Employ the services of a stylist who can design a plan to suit your budget. Hire companies also offer set-up packages.

Choose a site or venue that is meaningful or comfortable.
Sarah suggests making the search for a perfect location a fun excursion with your partner.
Get quotes, look at photos or footage of past functions and ask about additional costs, such as cake cutting, sound equipment and dancefloor hire.

Praying to the weather Gods doesn’t always work, Sarah says.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, have a back-up location.
“It’s not just rain that can have a negative impact. Wind or extreme heat can make ceremonies uncomfortable for guests, difficult to hear and not to mention, ruin your hair and make-up,” she says.
Consider having a small marquee on standby.

Let the theme of your wedding guide the time of year.
While outdoor weddings are more suited to the warmer months, those after a moody wedding in the cooler months may be able to secure a special venue or supplier offer.
Give family and friends plenty of warning to avoid disappointment.

If you have your heart set on a certain photographer or videographer, make this one of the first jobs on your to-do list.
Do your research and look at past work. You may even like to get an engagement shoot first.

Only you can make this decision. Remember special people in your life can be included in other ways, such as playing music, reading a poem, or driving you to the ceremony.